Turning landfill into energy

Landfill is both ugly and polluting. But a new breed of technology promises to make it a thing of the past, transforming a huge portion of landfill material into clean gas. It’s thanks to a process called gasification, which involves turning carbon-based materials into gas by heating them to a high temperature but without burning … Read more

EU puts its ‘foot on the accelerator’ of battery research

The transport sector accounts for 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union is scaling up its investment in battery technology with the announcement of a €10 million open competition to design a better battery for electric vehicles and a €50 million cash injection to develop Europe’s largest green battery factory. Batteries will play a vital role in helping to achieve the EU’s goal of … Read more

Life scientists unite to close EU’s innovation gap

Research excellence relies not only on funding but also on the right governance and culture, according to experts.

Nepotism, a lack of transparency and poor governance are among some of the challenging conditions faced by researchers in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a consortium of life scientists who have set up a project to raise the level of research excellence in those countries. ‘The importance of institutions in providing a favourable environment … Read more

Marine scientists steer trawlers away from sensitive sea floors

Newly developed trawling gear can lower the impact of fishing on the sea floor.

Bottom trawling, where fishing boats drag a heavy net along the seafloor, can devastate marine habitats and cause fish stocks to plummet, but scientists have developed new eco-friendly techniques to support the sustainability of an industry employing tens of thousands of people. Bottom (benthic) trawling indiscriminately catches bottom-feeder fish and seafood like plaice, cod, shrimp, … Read more

Classroom to boardroom – how to turn a school science project into a business

Adam Noble, CEO of Noblegen, says that keeping grounded can help young scientists absorb advice and new experiences.

When, as a 16-year-old, Adam Noble began measuring nanosilver pollution in his local river, he could hardly have foreseen that it would make him CEO of a 40-strong company before his 24th birthday. And when 14-year-old Ciara Judge experimented with growing bacteria in a spare bedroom, she had no idea that within a few years … Read more

‘Earworm melodies with strange aspects’ – what happens when AI makes music

A new AI machine creates new music from songs it’s fed, mimicking their style.

The first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) was released on 12 January and experts believe that the science behind it could lead to a whole new style of music composition. Popular music has always been fertile ground for technological innovation. From the electric guitar to the studio desk, laptops … Read more